Ali Winston

Contributor to

Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, Calif.

'I Offered to Bring Fire Extinguishers': A History of Fire Safety Anxiety at Oakland's Ghost Ship Venue

Ghost Ship, which had been run by Derick “Ion” Almena, 46, and his wife Micah Allison since 2012, was packed full of ornate East Asian wood furniture, defunct pianos and organs, rugs, drapes and illegally partitioned into separate living quarters. As the electrical fire ignited, the lights went out, thick smoke billowed up to the second floor and the Ghost Ship went up like kindling.